Habits Shape Character Humanities and my vision for the futureThis May, I graduated from Swarthmore with honors in philosophy and history. I did not expect to focus my studies on the humanities upon enrolling at Swarthmore—in fact, I thought I would be an economics and history double major. That all changed my first year when I stumbled upon philosophy. I’m so thankful I did. Studying the humanities developed me in ways that I could not have anticipated. Philosophy taught me the importance of empathy. I gained the ability to understand and share the feelings of others—the mark of a good leader. I can identify with increased sensibility the needs and experiences of others. As a leader on campus, this principle dictated the manner in which I interacted and communicated with my peers and basketball teammates. Reading Aristotle’s thoughts on happiness—how it’s an activity of the soul in accordance with excellence—motivated me to redefine my purpose. It occurred to me that my own success is an upshot not of what I do, but of who I am. Now, I strive for excellence in all my activities, vitalized by the habits that shape my character. Now that I’ve graduated, I plan to open an Allstate insurance agency in my hometown of Atlanta. I look forward to the opportunity to begin my career as an entrepreneur and a leader of my own organization, after which I intend to pursue a law and business degree. Moreover, I plan to establish an organization in Atlanta that provides educational and career services to help young people achieve life milestones—such as going to college, getting a job, or growing a business. I hope to foster a real community around that vision, inspired by my passions for leadership and self-development. However, I doubt my vision for the future would be the same without the humanities. Swarthmore was the most enriching and fulfilling period of my life. I’m appreciative of the person I have grown to become over the past four years, and I attribute much of my intellectual and personal growth to studying philosophy. Although my path from Swarthmore will present many changes, I’m certain of one thing: I will continue to be that principled leader who practices integrity, values relationships, and demonstrates commitment.